Her smile is what we miss most.
Those who knew Kathy knew that she leaned-in to every hug, one hundred percent, and followed it with a sincere "you'll be fine”. Her laugh was contagious and could be heard long before she entered the room. In February of this year (2021), too soon, she went to her eternal heavenly home. In her absence, we are proud to carry on her mission of “leaning-in” and encouraging others.
In her final days, without enough breath to leave her hospital bed, Kathy was still texting Dave and others, asking about how our “move” to Evergreen’s new location was going. She had been a core part of the plan. She always thought of others first. In fact, Evergreen would not be here if Kathy hadn't told Dave to go ahead and “do it” 16 years ago, insisting, of course, he'd be fine. From then on, Kathy could be overheard giving pep talks to Evergreen staff, students, welcoming patients, giving hugs and inspiring laughs.
Her hope lifted everyone.
Alongside Kathy's husband, Karl, we are honored to continue Kathy's passion of assuring that future generations of physical therapists are skilled at bringing others through tough times with the same kind of hope-filled encouragement. Today, we ARE fine, and to honor her legacy, Evergreen has established a memorial fund.
The Kathy Kumagai Shimamura Physical Therapy Movement Fellow Memorial Fund
Kathy, Karl, Dave, and Tammy supported each other symbiotically, showing the world that dreams can come true, as long as you have a friend who tells you, “you’ll be fine”. Five years ago, Kathy co-created the Advanced Movement Fellowship at Azusa Pacific University with her long-time friend, Clare Frank. Together, they designed a program that focused on an excellence in evaluation and treatment of patients through a "movement lens". Evergreen has been fortunate enough to be a clinical training site for fellows in this program. Clare now carries on the mission without her friend.
The movement fellowship is an intensive program of rigorous curriculum that requires students to commit a full year of their professional life to learn from experts. To qualify, candidates must have already acquired a specialization in clinical care. This specialization provides a foundation to launch into a deeper mentoring experience focused in the movement systems. Through this selective process, only 4 candidates are chosen and hosted at one of 3 sites. We are committed to keeping Kathy’s legacy strong at Evergreen. She is still a part of us, and we are thankful to Clare for making it possible.
Donations to this memorial fund are greatly appreciated and will assist fellows with tuition expenses for one year, while they take time away from their full career. Although this donation will not be tax deductible, as we are not a 503c organization, 100% of the donations will go towards the tuition and training of the fellows hosted at Evergreen.
Inspiring Our Core Values
Kathy's words continue to inspire us to be the best for our patients.